Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

Home Travel StoriesD-Day And A Bit of Belgium

Arromanche With Some D-Day Thrown In

Day Seven Thursday 5 June

By Bogger

Up at 7.45 am, showered, breakfast of Lardons and eggs. Woohoo glorious sunshine and no wind. Apart from the wind emanating continuously from Jason. OK what to do today then boys? The consensus was to get to the viewing platform on the cliffs above Arromanche, have a look around and see what the day brought.
The small coastal roads were extremely busy mainly with WW2 vehicles. There weren't hundreds of them there were thousands, honestly. Alongside the road there were complete WW2 era encampments, really impressive. I never knew so much stuff still survived. It was too much to take it all in really. The French police were everywhere, cars, vans, bikes - both Yammy FJRs and off road bikes.

Jason had a puncture of epic proportions on the way. "My bike's making a funny noise". I suppose it will do with a handle off a bucket sticking out of the tyre.

A normal motorcycle tyre with the thick heavy gauge wire of a bucket handle sticking into it

Once at the platform we had a look at the remnants of the "Mulberry Harbour" and were treated to a jaw dropping display of low flying by the American air force in their C130 transport planes. The pictures do not fully capture just how low they were. On one fly past a C130 disappears below the level of the cliff skimming the beach below. Once the C130s clear off the French air force aerobatic display team "Patrouille de France" turn up in their Alpha Jets and give everyone a fantastic half hour display. They were really, really impressive. Top show indeed. 

A large C130 4 prop transport plane flying very low just off shore at the Normandy Beaches
8 jets in very tight formation, the French air display team at Normandy

Near to the viewing platform Nige happens across an eight screen 360 degree cinema. We pay our five euros and are treated to a half hour showing of footage from D-Day. Made you proud to be British or indeed Canadian or American for that matter. Afterwards we wandered down the steep incline into Arromanche itself past the Sherman tank perched high above the village.

The 4 blokes post by the Sherman tank on the plinth
Montage of tanks, armoured vehicles, beautiful beaches and the D-Day anniversary

If it had been busy by the viewing platform the town was chocca. In the village square there was a ceremony being performed by the French army. 

6 modern young soldiers of the French army parading to the gathered crowd

We had a mooch about the shops and took in the atmosphere. The veterans that were there were treated like super star footballers. Everyone wanted their photographs taken with them and were asking for their autographs. By and large they were loving the attention. They must have been baking hot though as I never saw one of them without his jacket on with all the medals. 

2 aged veterans with medals on their jackets in the busy town centre

After a while we head back to the bikes and head for the gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer. There are four massive guns pointing out to sea and the British finally over ran the battery on the 7 June 1944.

A very large single gun in a study concrete encasement at the battery
Looking into the gun barrel we see the rifling to spin the projectile

Time to get to the supermarket and back to the campsite after a full on day. Once back at the site Pete overhears one of the blokes on the rich pitch opposite on his speaker phone. I say overhears, he's loud enough for everyone on the campsite to hear him. "No, no, I can't do that tomorrow morning old chap, I've got to go and meet the Prime Minister don't you know." From then on we christened the pair of them Captain Cock and Brigadier Bell End.
Total miles 38.

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To French France and Guines Perfect planning prevents pee poor performance. Someone should have told these chaps. Throw in some Alchemy and carnage and come up with gold, comedy gold.
Easily Into Belgium Not too much malarkey today, the lads manage to sidle their way into Belgium with minimum shenanigans. There's a moment for reflection betwixt the brews 'n' beers.
Ypres, Museums, Memorials And Muppetry Bogger and co are mixing a heady brew of malarkey and educational museum visits. Hasn't Ypres already suffered enough?
A Crash And Other Antics Bogger and pals have reached the age of maturity and yet maturity seems to have escaped them. More high jinks from those who ought to know better.
Gear Selections in Compi├Ęgne It's a lazy day in Northern France for Bogger and pals. Only a short exploratory ride, mostly spent in search of Ironside's elusive gears.
Rain, Misery, Laughter and Puppetry It's not the best start to Bogger and pals' day. And yet a bunch of middle aged men clearly demonstrate they haven't grown up at all.
Arromanche With Some D-Day Thrown In The Motley Crew spend the day enjoying the D-Day events with the weather on their side and only 1 minor mechanical issue. Remarkable!
Dynamic D-Day During the D-Day commemorations Arromanche is bustling and bursting. Bogger and crew do their best to navigate the beach, the town and the machinery on their last full day.
It's Home Time A brief note from Bogger on the last day, the homeward bound leg. Tired little teddies, awwww bless.

Reader's Comments

Upt'North said :-
Impressive photographs Bogger.
I've just put it on the to do list.
08/06/2020 01:13:39 UTC
Bogger said :-
The Normandy beaches are a fantastic place to visit. Obviously now a days they are holiday type places, but with a mass of recentish history surrounding them.
There is so much to see and do and it's all so close together. I've been four times now and there is loads I've not seen or experienced.
I took Mrs Bogger for a three days a couple of years back and she really enjoyed the area. More holiday than WW2 of course.
It's well worth a visit in my opinion, at any time of year. 6th of June is mega busy.

08/06/2020 02:53:39 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Just checked our Bogger me lad.
The nearest I have been would be either Brionne or Bernay on the way to SW France and Spain.
We could make it a "Battie" ride event. That's of course if we're ever allowed to travel again.
08/06/2020 05:06:27 UTC

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